Federal Report Confirms D.C.Voucher Effectiveness

SCHOOL CHOICE NEWS ALERT, APRIL 3, 2009


Dear Friend,
There is good news out of Washington, D.C. this afternoon- news that impacts the future of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

The U.S. Department of Education today released a crucial report demonstrating that the D.C. voucher program is making a significant impact on student academic achievement.

In a major finding, the report found that to read at the same level as voucher recipients, students who did not receive vouchers would have to spend 3.7 additional months in their public schools.

Once again, the research is on our side. Now, we need your help.

It is important to protect and expand the D.C. program, not only because the wellbeing of 1,700 low-income children depends on it, but because Congress' actions could impact education reform initiatives in your state.

Will you call your Senator and Representative today, or send an e-mail, and urge swift reauthorization of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program?

Senate:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
House: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Thanks in advance for your support. Our press release is below.

Best Wishes,

Andrew R. Campanella
Advocates for School Choice
Washington, D.C.
www.LetParentsChoose.org


D.C. Voucher Program Produces Significant Academic Gains for Students

Reading Scores Are Statistically Significant, Equal to 3.7 Extra Months of Learning

(Washington, D.C., April 3, 2009)-
A crucial study released today indicates that the much-discussed voucher program for students in Washington, D.C. is having a positive impact on academic performance.

Specifically, the report demonstrated statistically significant student improvement in reading. To achieve the same results, students who do not receive vouchers would have to spend 3.7 additional months in their public schools, the report found.

This report comes at a critical time for parents in the nation’s capital, as Congress deliberates on whether to continue funding for the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which serves 1,700 children from very low-income families. With the positive news contained in the report, it is expected that several additional Members of Congress will now announce their support for the continuation of the program, which was placed in jeopardy because of language inserted into the FY 2009 omnibus budget bill by Congressional opponents.

The Alliance for School Choice hailed the results of this study as further proof that the program should be expanded, not ended.

“Reading is a gateway subject that opens the doors to achievement and success in many other areas. This report demonstrates that the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program is fulfilling its purpose and providing a quality education for the low-income D.C. kids fortunate enough to participate,” said Alliance Interim President John Schilling. “The Alliance and Advocates for School Choice remain steadfast in our belief that the OSP must be protected, sustained, and strengthened. Four consecutive studies have shown overwhelming parental satisfaction and we now have two consecutive years of data demonstrating student academic growth.”

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program was enacted in 2004 and provides scholarships so that low-income children can attend the schools of their parents’ choice. This school year, the program is benefiting more than 1,700 children. The program has served 3,039 children since its inception; more than 7,800 have applied to participate over the life of the program.

“This program is one essential piece of the larger education reform effort underway in the District,” Schilling said. “With proven academic benefit, high parental satisfaction, and strong demand, the OSP meets every possible standard for continuation. The thousands of parents and students—those currently participating, those who have applied for next year, and those waiting in line—will make their voices heard loud and clear in City Hall, Congress, and the White House," said Schilling.